United States Edition

A warning on bean weevils (aka lessons hard learned)

Wednesday, 02 May 12 Storms 29°C / 85°F

  • 4
  • Very Unhappy

Earlier this year I discovered part of my bean stash was completed destroyed by bean weevils. Undetected overwinter, they’d multipled and devoured nearly my entire bean seed stash intended for sale. Luckily, or so I thought, I had two reserves. My personal seed stock was in the fridge overwinter, and the harvest intended for eating had been stored airtight in the pantry all winter.

I poured out a jar to make beans yesterday and this is what I saw. I could cry.

I swapped beans from my personal stock this year, thinking they’d be safe. Now I need to send a warning to everybody who got beans from me. Please check them. I feel awful, I hope I didn’t send pests out to anybody else. I hope the refrigerated beans are safe, but I’ve since learned to prevent weevil infestations dry beans should be frozen for two weeks after harvest. Some of my seeds are kept in the freezer, but I honestly can’t remember at this point if beans were among them.

It’s a fine reminder of the risk we take in swapping. I consider myself an advanced gardener and I’m persnickity about seed saving techniques – and these still got by me.

Comments

  • HazelJ

    HazelJ wrote:

    Oh no. I never froze my ‘Indian Woman Yellow’ beans after harvest. Should I do this now? (I’m not planning to replant this year.) I hope my ‘True Red Cranberry’ beans, which I’m trying to grow out to reasonable numbers are alright too. I think I have read about freezing before, but it totally slipped my mind after waiting for the beans to be thoroughly dry.

    Posted on 04 May 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • rosemarieGardener

    rosemarieGardener wrote:

    A cruel reminder we can never let out guard up. Sorry this happened.

    Posted on 04 May 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • creme

    creme wrote:

    Hazel,

    My guess is that if you already have bean weevils in your stock, the seed will already be destroyed. Their life cycle would already have brought them out.

    My understanding is the eggs are in the beans at harvest, they mature over the next few months and chew their way out of the dry beans. In one of my seed stashes, it seemed like they multiplied greatly. They must have had quite the party because there were a lot of them. The ones I found in the mason jar food stash, it didn’t seem like they mated.

    Anyway, from what I’ve read the best way to control them is to put all the beans in the freezer for two weeks after they’ve dried after harvest.

    Posted on 04 May 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • HazelJ

    HazelJ wrote:

    I just checked and my beans seem okay, so I guess I was just lucky this time. I will make sure to freeze them after harvest this year.

    Posted on 04 May 12 (over 2 years ago)

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